We are starting a weather unit in homeschool, and this week we are focusing on clouds! After reading about how clouds form, we decided to do our own experiment and make a cloud in a jar. It was so much fun the kids begged to do it several times.
Ready to impress the kids this week? Make your own cloud!
Materials Needed to Make a Cloud in a Jar:
- Clear glass jar with a lid
- Ice Cubes
- Hot Water
- Aerosol Spray (We used hairspray.)
To form your own cloud, pour an inch or two of very hot water (I microwaved a coffee mug full for 2 minutes.) into your empty jar.
Swirl the hot water around a bit to warm up the jar’s sides.
Next, place the jar’s lid over the opening, upside-down, and place several ice cubes on top of the lid.
Wait 30 seconds and then remove the lid and spray a quick spurt of your aerosol into the jar. Quickly cover the jar and watch your cloud form!
It is really hard to see the cloud in the pictures, but, we took the lid off to “let our cloud free.” This was my daughter’s favorite part!
So, why does it work?
For clouds to form, they need three things:
- warm, moist air (provided by the hot water trapped inside the jar)
- cooling, which causes the moisture to lift (provided by the ice cubes)
- small particles in the air for the moisture to condense on (in our case it was hair spray, but usually it is dust, smoke, pollution…)
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